This Purple Heart's soil was so dried out and compacted that I figured the only way to save the plant was to give her some fresh dirt to spread her roots in.
The idea was to remove her from the left pot and create a new home with fresh potting soil in the green one (with drain holes) that would be placed inside the ceramic red one (without holes).
After at least 20 minutes of chiseling with a knife and spoon, some of the dirt--if you can even call this rock-hard substance dirt--was hammered away.
Some leaves and bits of roots ended up in the "go to the compost" bowl.
Others looked like they might make it for re-potting.
The rest ended up being cut off from their roots and placed into a glass of water. One great characteristic of the Purple Heart is she grows marvelously from a cutting. A matter-of-fact, the one in all of these pictures started as a cutting 30 years ago from a co-worker!
Since then, this plant has provided several snippets here-and-there, which were re-rooted in glasses of water and given away to fellow plant lovers.
The survivors now sit in the sunshine showing off their new shiny pot, which my husband loves.
Considering the challenge of rock-dirt vs womanly strength, I think the Purple Heart will flourish in her new home.